Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

'Real ID' Act Could Help ID Thieves

Filed under
Security

Security experts have expressed dismay about new legislation that will usher in the nation's first national ID system-citing a lack of confidence in the government's ability to employ the technology in such a way as to prevent citizens from being preyed upon by identity thieves.

The Real ID Act of 2005, added on to the $82 billion Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill, was passed by the House of Representatives on Thursday and is expected to be passed by the Senate next week.

The act was pushed through without hearings or deliberation, over the objections of a coalition of 12 Democratic senators who decried it as a sweeping anti-immigration bill.

Beyond issues of civil liberties, what's disturbing about the imminent passage of the Real ID Act from a technological point of view is that it's being done in spite of the growing popularity of state RMVs (Registries of Motor Vehicles) as targets for identity thieves, experts say.

"My feeling is there's a tremendous amount of activity going on right now around data theft," said Jon Oltsik, an analyst with Enterprise Strategies Group. "The stuff we hear about in the news is dwarfed by the stuff we don't hear about, because people bury it, because they don't want to disclose it. They're praying nothing happens."

The bill dictates that all states collect, at a minimum, personal information from citizens in order to obtain a driver's license, including name, date of birth, gender, driver's license or identification card number, digital photograph, address and signature.

Whereas collection of this particular information is not new, the linkage of states' databases is. The bill specifies that states link what are at present discrete databases, creating, in effect, one nationwide database with personal information pertaining to all citizens.

Even with states' currently discrete, disconnected databases, thieves increasingly have turned their attention to RMVs.

In March, thieves rammed a car through the back wall of a DMV near Las Vegas and stole computer equipment containing personal information on more than 8,900 people. Police in the past month have arrested DMV examiners in Florida and Maryland for selling fake driver's licenses.

Meanwhile, personal information for thousands of Americans has been compromised through the recent rash of scandals around what were considered secure databases residing with data brokers ChoicePoint and Lexis Nexis.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Oracle Adds Initial Support for Linux Kernel 4.14 LTS to VirtualBox

Oracle recently updated their VirtualBox open-source and cross-platform virtualization software with initial support for the latest Linux 4.14 LTS kernel series. VirtualBox 5.2.2 is the first maintenance update to the latest VirtualBox 5.2 stable series of the application, and it looks like it can be compiled and used on GNU/Linux distribution running the recently released Linux 4.14 LTS kernel. It also makes it possible to run distros powered by Linux kernel 4.14 inside VirtualBox VMs. Read more

Today in Techrights

today's leftovers

  • How a Linux stronghold turned back to Windows: Key dates in Munich's LiMux project [Ed: This explains the progression of Microsoft's war on GNU/Linux, typically using proxies]
    The project is temporarily put on hold while a study investigates whether it could be derailed by software patents.
  • End of an open source era: Linux pioneer Munich confirms switch to Windows 10 [Ed: Microsoft paid (bribed) all the right people, got a Microsoft fan -- by his own admission -- in power, gifted him for this]
    Mayor Dieter Reiter said there's never been a unified Linux landscape in the city. "We always had mixed systems and what we have here is the possibility of going over to a single system. Having two operating systems is completely uneconomic.
  • Ubuntu Podcast: S10E38 – Soft Knowledgeable Burn
    This week we refactor a home network, discuss how gaming on Linux has evolved and grown in recent years, bring you a blend of love and go over your feedback.
  • Live ISOs for Slackware-current 20171122
    I have released an update of the ‘liveslak‘ scripts. I needed the tag for a batch of new ISO images for the Slackware Live Edition. These are based on the latest Slackware-current dated “Wed Nov 22 05:27:06 UTC 2017“) i.e. yesterday and that means, the ISOs are going to boot into the new 4.14.1 kernel.
  • Am I willing to pay the price to support ethical hardware?
    The planned obsolescence is even worse with tablets and smartphones, whose components are all soldered down. The last tablet with a removable battery was the Dell Venue 11 Pro (Haswell version) announced in October 2013, but it was an expensive Windows device that cost as much as a mid-range laptop. The last Android tablet with a removable battery was the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (GT-N8000 series), released in August 2012. It is still possible to find mid-range smartphones with removable batteries. Last year the only high end phones with removable batteries were the LG G5 and V20, but even LG has given up on the idea of making phones that will last longer than 2 years once the battery starts to degrade after roughly 500 full charge and discharge cycles. Every flagship phone introduced in 2017 now has its battery sealed in the case. According to the gmsarena.com database, the number of new smartphone models with non-replaceable batteries grew from 1.9% in 2011 to 26.7% in 2014, and now to 90.3% in 2017. It is highly likely that not a single model of smartphone introduced next year will have a replaceable battery.

More Coverage of New Lumina Release

  • Lumina 1.4 Desktop Environment Released
    The TrueOS BSD folks working on their Qt5-powered Lumina Desktop Environment have issued a new feature update of their open-source desktop.
  • Lumina Desktop 1.4.0 Released
    Lumina 1.4.0 carries a number of changes, optimisations, and feature improvements. Lumina is the default desktop of TrueOS, a BSD-based operating system. The desktop itself is lightweight, modular, built using Qt, and uses Fluxbox for window management. Although Lumina is mostly aimed at BSD users it also runs on Linux, including Fedora, Arch and — *mario coin sfx* — Ubuntu.